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Town Of Lee, Oneida County, New York Village of Lee

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Lee Grange
Roman Citizen, April 14, 1892

The town of Lee would soon be forgotten did it not at stated intervals furnish a sensation for the people to talk about. The latest episode to engage the attention of the populace is the withdrawal of some thirty members from the Lee Grange.

This grange was organized in November 1890, and in the spring of 1891, it erected a hall in which to hold its meetings. The hall is located a short distance from the Lee post-office on the road to Lee Center.

Everything ran smoothly for several months; the membership rapidly increased until it reached about 70. Late last fall the subject of giving an oyster supper and social dancing party came up, and a large number of the members favored it. Few, however, while entering no objection to the oyster supper, thought dancing should be prohibited in the hall and urged that dancing be eliminated from the programme. Those who delighted in dancing disliked to omit that pleasing feature of the evening’s entertainment, and argued that local granges everywhere had dancing parties in their halls, but the opponents of dancing failed to see why it was necessary for Lee Grange to use its hall for dancing, even if other granges did.

Finally State Lecturer Monroe was communicated with concerning the matter, and he said it was very common practice for members to hold dancing parties in grange halls, and if a majority favored dancing a party was the usual result. As the majority of the members of Lee Grange saw no harm in terpalchorian exercise they voted to hold the supper and dance, which occurred on February 11, last. The night was very stormy and the attendance was not large, but those who were present said they had a very enjoyable time.

Those who opposed the dancing from the outset were not of course present, and at a subsequent meeting took occasion to assert that they considered their rights trampled upon, and endeavored to secure an amendment to the by-laws, which would prohibit dancing in the hall in the future. This proposed amendment was killed by the majority, the result being that ten of the anti-dance members promptly called for their demit cards, which were as promptly given them.

The news of the withdrawal spread rapidly all over the town and into adjoining towns. Members of sister granges visited the Lee Grange to learn the true state of affairs, and the visitors almost invariably took the side of those who had favored the holding of the dancing party. This to the remaining anti-dancing members seemed like ‘crowding the mourners’ a little too much, and at the regular meeting held on Wednesday evening of last week, about 20 more demit cards were asked for and granted. This leaves the Lee Grange with a membership of about 40.

A number of those who withdrew have joined the new grange just organized in the town of Annsville. The gossip that is flying about the town because of the withdrawal of so many members would fill several columns of the Citizen, but the foregoing is an impartial statement of the facts as they were gleaned by the writer, who, by the way, in not a member of the grange.

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